REVIEW: Neptune & Prawn

As recently as last week, somebody asked me ‘Where’s your favourite place to eat?’ Without any hesitation or thought I replied, Neptune and Prawn in Portrush. For those of you who follow me on social media you will already know this due to the number of times me and my pals ‘check in’ there.

Portrush is where I spent my childhood summer holidays and is somewhere that is very familiar to me and holds a special place in my heart. I’ve probably eaten in most of the excellent eating establishments in the North Coast over the years but for some reason I’m always drawn to this place.

Neptune and Prawn is part of the Ramore family of restaurants situated around the Harbour area. It offers an ‘informal dining experience serving many Asian inspired dishes which are perfect for sharing, along with an upstairs cocktail bar with amazing sunset views’.

I’ve been here on days where I’ve had to wear sunglasses inside as the sun was blinding me through the window and days where I’ve walked down from the train station in the wind and rain and got completely drenched, broken umbrella and all. No matter what the weather is like, as soon as you step through the doors here, it feels like you are a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The beach hut/sea faring theme instantly transports you to that exotic summer holiday destination which is just the tonic to lift your spirits for those couple of hours spent inside. What makes this place so special? The food. the staff, and the atmosphere.

These 3 combined make this place hard to fault. I’ve never gone away feeling disappointed or had cause to complain. If you go at this time of the year on any evening (except Saturday) between 5.00pm and 7.00pm you can partake in an amazing deal of 2 courses from £9.99. This can be starter/main or main/dessert.

When we go, there’s usually 3 of us and our choice of starters are nearly always the same as we enjoy them so much. Nachos, Salt & Chilli Chicken Sliders (3) and Char Siu Pork Tortillas with mango and carrot salad (3). With this combination we all get a slider and tortilla each and share of the crunchy nachos. If I didn’t eat anything else after these, I’d still go home content. Top marks every time for flavour, portion size and presentation.

When it comes to the main course, I can hold my hands up and say that I’ve probably worked my way through the majority of the dishes listed on the menu.

Here are some of my highlights: Neptune Fish and Chips – with this dish, don’t be expecting your traditional battered cod supper with mushy peas. Served on a long fish shaped dish, this little beauty consists of LARGE juicy salt & chilli prawns with rough cut chips and Aioli. The Biriyani comes served in a cauldron shaped pot and a ladle to spoon it out onto your plate.

This ‘complete’ dish of rice, bang bang chicken, flatbread and dips really is a belly buster! Other favourites include Chilli Chicken/Beef Chow Mein, Honey Chilli Glaze Chicken and their Authentic Chinese Curry. We’ve also got into the very bad habit of ordering an additional portion of the salt & chill fries to munch along with our main meals – just because of their very unique flavouring! Anywhere else I’ve ordered these, they never quite come up to N&P’s standard.

For those of you not into oriental style dishes, there’s also a good selection of European dishes on offer.

If I’m there on one of my ‘cheat’ days I will most certainly have dessert. Where I put it – I don’t know. Thankfully they’re not too big but just enough to satisfy that sweet craving. For these, you go up to the bar area to order. A sample of each mini dessert is displayed on the counter for you to drool over before you make your final decision. With the £9.99 offer you get to pick 2.

There are many to choose from but firm favourites with us are the Strawboffee, Oreo Cheesecake, Crunchie Cheesecake, Lemon Meringue Tart and Chocolate Torte.

I would categorise N&P as a ‘trendy’ sort of a place with cool music and a buzzing atmosphere. There’s a no booking policy and runs on a first come first served system.

It can get very busy, so be prepared to wait – or do what we do and be there for opening time so you’re guaranteed a seat. The cocktail bar upstairs is open to non-diners but you can avail of snacks & sharing plates at the bar.

The main restaurant is on ground level for disability access and it’s a no kids restaurant.

By Gillian Cahoon

Neptune & Prawn is part of the Ramore group of restaurants at the Harbour, Portrush. Full details including menu and opening hours is available here –

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